Dear Menstruating Women, Stop Complaining. If They Don’t Want You in the Kitchen, Chill in the Bedroom

Satire

Dear Menstruating Women, Stop Complaining. If They Don’t Want You in the Kitchen, Chill in the Bedroom

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

We women in India really have it all. We just don’t realise it. In fact, I am grateful for all the attention we get and the mad number of choices we have when it comes to taboos – especially those related to our menses. There are so many ways we can fuck up pious lives with our leaking lady parts, we can easily be sent to attack Pakistan. So, I wonder why they were so hesitant to let us lead the armed forces. Who needs nukes when we have menstruating women?

Of course not everyone sees the silver – or should I say blood red – lining. These days you regularly encounter “woke” women who question why a menstruating woman is an assault on sanskriti? Come closer, girls. You really haven’t been paying attention to life’s lessons, have you?

This is the 21st century. Are you telling me you are still under the impression that your body is a sanctum sanctorum? Hold my turmeric latte while I laugh hysterically. You are sweet, gentle creatures, incapable of thinking for yourselves. Now can you please sit down and hand over the control of your life to someone else like women have been doing for centuries. Everyone but you has a perfectly clear idea what you are meant to do with your vagina – produce babies, that is. Preferably boys.

Of course, you’ll menstruate, month after month, year after year. But how dare you refuse to make a big deal of it? Run marathons, win tennis tournaments, turn up for work despite your aching bellies and bloated bodies. Why the hell are you’ll trying to normalise this whole thing?

Hold my turmeric latte while I laugh hysterically. You are sweet, gentle creatures, incapable of thinking for yourselves.

You’ve been reminded time and again that your place is in the kitchen – other than “that time of the month” when everything you touch gets impure. But you are so desperate to be progressive that you don’t get it. Clearly you have not been paying attention to Bhagwat ji. According to this maverick architect of our good times, our education and affluence will lead to the ruin of society. Yes sir, we get it.

I’ve zeroed in on where the problem starts – financial independence. It fills our heads with weird ideas that we are allowed to have a life beyond home and hearth, walk out of unhappy marriages to reclaim your lives. Sorry, we forgot. Our life’s purpose is babysitting – first the husband, and then our husbands and children.

It’s not as if we don’t know what happens to girls who defy the wisdom of our customs. They are pulled out of their classrooms and made to show their knickers to strangers to inspect for bloodstains. No, these are not ravenous vampires, silly! Just very angry custodians of our culture that rests solely on women’s shoulders. Leaking women are meant to be quarantined, kept in detention centres, away from plain sight because they are as dangerous as those affected with coronavirus.

Years of ridicule and ostracism doesn’t seem to have driven home the point. But that’s what happens when you have wings between your legs; you feel like a superwoman.

Arre, are you getting ideas, ladies? Did I just see one of you tear off the layers of newspapers that the kirana-wala bhaiya, the protector of your modesty, has wrapped it in? While you are at it, may I suggest Pad-ma-wati to suit your brand new avatar?

Nice naa? It gets even better.

Did I just see one of you tear off the layers of newspapers that the kirana-wala bhaiya, the protector of your modesty, has wrapped it in?

Now that you are Pad-ma-wati, every chai break you take with colleagues will now be a wonderful opportunity to replace all the poop and fart jokes that you’ve been putting up with centuries with period jokes. Like – “Periods teach us how to get blood off quickly. Which is probably why you hear of more cases where men were caught for murder.” Tee Hee. Tell them why women go to bathrooms in groups. When they bleed, it might attract the sharks hiding in the sewage pipes and you’d rather be safe than someone’s lunch.

Since shame is a prerogative of the meek, you will set every party on fire with stories about how much you bled and where! Seat no 53A on Air India has yet to recover from the onslaught. No more euphemisms for us. Paddu will ditch cute nicknames like chumming, Aunt Flo, Code Red, I’m not well, to make it acceptable for the masses and will happily call it by its real name – Menstruation.

Pad-ma-wati doesn’t care if it’s dry days or woh paanch din, she will cook up a storm inside and outside the kitchen and wait to be reborn as a bitch again that roams the streets with her tail held high. Pads knows her leaking vagina is her superpower and can’t wait to mutate into a dark force, contaminating pickles, turning roses into cactuses, laddoos into lettuce, wine into water. Pad-mawati is told again and again she is so powerful that she can upset the long-gone, celibate Aiyappa, shake the foundations of temples so badly that she has to be kept out of it.

And no, she has no wish to be a goddess… especially for this mahasabha of idiots. She’s just happy to be their padded nightmare.

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